Raise your hand if you’ve ever quit something before you’ve accomplished the intended goal. Both my hands are raised.
Starting is easy. The possibilities are limitless, and everything is pretty, fresh and possible. Then, the winds of reality blow the great equalizer our way. The name of this invisible force is resistance. The first time I was able to identify this force by name was about six years ago after reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.
Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance. -Steven Pressfield
I want to be a finisher. I want to teach my kids to be finishers (actually being a finisher is the only effective way to teach it). When I think about the characteristics needed to overcome resistance and finish the task at hand, one word comes to mind.
What is grit and how does someone embed it into their character? I’m not really sure. But I do believe grit is more of a decision than some built in character trait. For me it’s the decision to finish what I started without having a piss-poor attitude about it.
This line by Steven Pressfield sums it up; “Every sun casts a shadow, and genius‘ shadow is Resistance.” Understanding that the shadow of resistance is normal, helps keep me focused. It reminds me that pushing forward is a decision, regardless of how difficult it may seem.
My goal is to keep getting better. To have grit, to work hard at pushing through resistance and to follow through. To be a finisher.
I’ve been fascinated, entertained and educated by TED Talks for years. In fact my last TV purchase was influenced by the fact I could stream the talks, watching them on my big screen instead of my phone or computer. This 6-minute Ted Talk by Angela Lee Duckworth is on Grit, and definitely worth watching.